Just as important as a good exercise routine is a healthy eating routine!
While you are enjoying some of the wonderful weather we have been having here in the Pacific Northwest (interspersed with a a few rainy days of course) and getting in some good exercise or training for an upcoming event, we wanted to remind you how important good nutrition is to preventing injuries as well as recovering from them. Our bodies need specific types of fuel for specific types of activities in order to perform their best! We thought we would put together not only a few guidelines, but also a few actual recipes and ideas to help simplify this process for you!
First and foremost, before, during and after any activity…or just your regular day…your body needs water! Simple water will help keep nutrition moving through your system, allow your muscles to stretch and contract without injury, and enhance your performance by preventing dehydration.
PRE-WORKOUT SNACKS OR MEALS
Before a good workout at the gym, a hike, a bike ride, or maybe an organized event like a half marathon, its best to focus on whole grains, fruits, and a little healthy fat and protein. The fruit will give you a boost of energy to get you started, the whole grains and fats and proteins will help sustain that energy throughout your whole activity.
Here are some great simple ideas to put this into practice:
- Whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana on top
- A handful of almonds, and some yogurt with fruit and a little honey
- A homemade smoothie with greek yogurt, some frozen fruit, and a spoonful of peanut butter
DURING YOUR WORKOUT
Most workouts won’t need a snack during, but some definitely will. A long distance run, a hike, a long bike ride…all are good events to make sure you pack some snacks to keep your body fueled. And no matter how long or short your workout is, always listen to your body and give it what it needs to feel and perform its best! The main thing you need during a work out in addition to WATER, is carbohydrates. Of course you will want to choose healthy ones that won’t counteract the good you are working so hard to do for your body, so here are a few simple choices to help you get the approximate 30 grams that nutritionists recommend for every 30-60 minutes of exercise, depending on intensity. They can also easily be carried in a pack or on a bike for accessibility:
- Small prepackaged or pre-made fruit and yogurt smoothie
- Healthy cookies, like those found here
AFTER YOUR WORKOUT
Now is the time to really give your body what it needs so it can replenish and heal and get STRONGER! Proteins are what your body is craving now. Adding plenty of vegetables will also give you some healthy carbohydrates without weighing your system down. Getting a few things ready before your workout will make it much easier to eat right when you need it and help prevent your from grabbing the nearest easy snack foods and counteract all the work you just put forth! Here are some simple dishes you could have all the prep completed for before you leave the house, or you could even order dishes similar to this in a restaurant once you know what your body really needs:
- Salad topped with chicken or legumes
- Omelet with lots of veggies and some cheese
- Salmon and sweet potatoes
Seeing some real ideas in place can help take CONCEPTS of healthy eating and turn it into ACTION. And we all know that ACTION is what truly brings RESULTS!
Happy exercise and eating everyone!
Do you have a favorite recipe or tip for fueling before, during or after a workout? Please feel free to share it in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!